A bill of lading (B/L) or waybill is the contract covering the carriage of goods.
It identifies the contract parties (carrier, shipper, merchant), what is being carried (goods) and key voyage information (vessel, route).
The B/L :
- Evidences the carriage contract
- Represents the goods being carried
- Proves that the goods have been received
Lastly, it contains the terms and conditions governing carriage of the goods, describing the rights and responsibilities of each party.